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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Bas-relief of Mannaean Winged Man Discovered in Northwestern Iran


12 October 2008



LONDON, (CAIS) --  A brick bearing bas-relief of a winged man was unearthed at the Rabat Tepe during the third season of excavations, which has begun at the 3000-year-old site in Iran’s West Azerbaijan Province since early October. 


The brick, which dates back to the Mannaean period, measures 70x45 centimeter, said Reza Heidari, director of the team working on the site, the Persian service of CHN reported on Sunday.


The bas-relief depicts a long-beard man wearing a headband while stretching his wings. He has his hands raised in a gesture of worship, Heidari explained.


Located near the town of Sardasht, the Rabat Tepe covers an area of 60 hectares. In its higher strata, the site dates back to some time around 1000 BC. It is one of the richest archaeological sites in northwestern Iran.


The team had previously discovered bricks bearing bas-reliefs of naked winged goddesses at the site in October 2005.


The team of archaeologists working in the region believes that Rabat Tepe was the seat of government of Musasir about 3000 years ago. 


Musasir was a semi-independent buffer state bordering Mannai between Assyria and Urartu. It was a vassal state of Assyria yet Urartu held some claims over it. 


Experts believe that it was an ancient city probably located near the upper Great Zab River between Lake Urmia and Lake Van in Anatolia. 


Musasir was particularly important during the first half of the 1st millennium BC and is known primarily for reliefs and inscriptions obtained during the reign of the Assyrian king Sargon II, who captured it in 714 BC. According to the inscriptions, Sargon first plundered the palace and storerooms that belonged to Urzana, the king of Musasir, and then seized the even richer contents of the temple of Haldi, the god of the ancient kingdom of Urartu. 


The first and second seasons of excavations of the Rabat Tepe were carried out in 2005 and 2006.





Extracted From/Source: Mehr News  [*]




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